Gear Of The Year 2017 – The Best Accessory

We reviewed some fantastic accessories that made music-making not only more pleasant, but more accurate. However, there can only be one best accessory…

Winner – AKG K872 Headphones

Price £1199 street
Contact Sound Technology 01462 480000,


With a retail price of close to £1,500 (although you can get them for the price above if you shop around), these headphones had better deliver: and they certainly do. If you want comfort, pin sharp accuracy – and we mean pin-sharp accuracy – then these are for you.

The K872s are the closed-back version of AKG’s similarly priced and similarly accurate K812s, but the difference between the open- and closed-back listening experience is astonishing. The open-back version sits you in the middle of a what sounds like a wider mix, with some of the sound escaping and broadening the experience.

The closed-back K872 experience is somewhat harsher in terms of accuracy – nothing escapes, so you hear the minute detail – meaning these are probably the better options for precision mixing. You might not always like to hear your mixing mistakes, of course, but the 872s present them to you so you can correct them, which is what good music-production headphones and monitors are all about.

“They’re going to tell you about your music, and they don’t give a flying fuck about how you feel about it,” said a very sweary and melodramatic Andy Jones.

“Everything is noticed and that’s where you might not like them. Don’t listen to MP3s on them – they reveal that format to be as shit as it really is. And if you have a fragile ego about your own mixes, be prepared – these won’t hold back. “So which do you choose? You’re asking the question. Do you really want to know the answer?” Ooh, get him…

Highly Commended Accessory – GIK Acoustics Alpha Panel


Price £75 to £180
Contact GIK Acoustics on 0203 815 8608

That an acoustic treatment panel has won this year’s Highly Commended award – and by some distance, it has to be said – is heartening, as it demonstrates the MusicTech readership’s know-how… because arguably acoustic treatment is the most important part of a studio’s creation (apart from the blue LEDs you simply must put in at the end, naturally).

GIK really knows its stuff when it comes to acoustics, and regularly scores well for its treatment solutions. Reviewer Alex Holmes also knows his acoustics too, concluding: “If you’re looking to breathe a little life and high-end balance back into your room and are limited for space, then these Alpha panels are one of the finest options currently available.”